On Wednesday 11 November 2020, the 102nd anniversary of Armistice Day, the iconic Glenfinnan viaduct lit up in ‘poppy’ as a tribute to all those who have lost their lives in defence of the country.
Famous across the world for its starring role in the Harry Potter film series, the 21-arch Victorian viaduct turned red between 19:00 and 21:00 – a tribute to the role the West Highland Line played in WWII in transporting thousands of service personnel from Britain, and nations across occupied Europe, to commando training centres located in the north west of Scotland.
Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway, said: “The railway played a key role in both world wars, helping to move personnel and materials around the country and each year our major stations fall silent on 11 November as we remember the sacrifices made for the freedom we all enjoy today.
“This year we have seen an Armistice Day like no other and, with large events no longer appropriate, we still wanted to pay a public tribute by lighting up Glenfinnan viaduct, with its global profile and links to World War Two.”
Gordon Michie, head of fundraising at Poppyscotland, said: “To have such an iconic structure join more than 120 other landmarks across Scotland as part of our Light Up Red initiative is wonderful.
“The Glenfinnan viaduct is one of the most recognisable places in the country. To have it bathed in poppy red is an amazing tribute to the fallen and will also help shine a light on the challenges that so many in our Armed Forces community still face today. Our sincere thanks go to Network Rail for their continued support.
“As this year’s Scottish Poppy Appeal reaches its conclusion, we hope this will remind the public that the need to support our veterans does not end today. The work of Poppyscotland continues all year round and, with their continued support, we can show our Armed Forces community that we are behind them, always.”
The illumination was carried out by Glasgow-based events company the Stage Group who also worked with Network Rail to light Glenfinnan and other iconic rail locations blue in tribute to the NHS during lockdown.